Akufo-Addo: “Africa Must Move Beyond Aid”
President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, has observed that the African continent is the richest by all standards yet houses the poorest people in all of the world.
This, he said, is due to dependency on economic and foreign aid.
“Africa is the best-endowed continent in the world. She is the richest by all standards yet unfortunately and tragically, the mass of our people in the midst of abundance are the poorest on the planet. The continent is dependent on the charitable spirit of less endowed countries from other continents for the survival of its economies and its peoples. African economic and foreign policies have been substantially defined by aid with most national budgets heavily dependent on it.”
“Africa must move beyond aid”, President Akufo-Addo said during the opening ceremony of the 22nd Academy of African Business and Development (AABD) International Conference themed “Sustainable Development Beyond Aid: The Focus Of Africa” at the University of Professional Studies (UPSA).
He believes the impact of the COVID-19 and the Russian-Ukraine war, has brought into sharp focus the essence of Africa Beyond aid and “has also accentuated Africa’s paramount need to intensify our internal collaboration and cooperation in the areas of trade, market, resources”.
President Akufo-Addo said Africa must prioritise intra-trade in order to leverage its development.
“I’m saying that African countries need to engage more closely, deeply, and competitively to trade, investment, political cooperation, and enhanced regional initiatives in peace and security. Together, African countries need to build our continent by building upon our strength and holding each other up then and only then can we grow organically by wielding greater negotiating power to develop the continent of Africa”.
According to him, Africa has not done much in liberalising and promoting trade among itself.
“In 2020 Africa imported some USD 4 billion worth of agricultural products from Russia, 90% of them being wheat and 6% sunflower oil. What stops an African countries like Ghana from producing, and consuming its own tropical oil like palm and coconut oil, in trading them with Morocco which produces wheat. Africa can and should be self-sufficient.
“Ghana’s chicken imports in 2021 were estimated at some 350 metric tonnes with forecast for 2022 being 400,000metric tonnes. None of these imports ironically are from African countries. South Africa imports US$1billion worth of wheat, rice, frozen meat products, and corn per year, nine of which are from any African country.
“These are the reasons why Intra-African trade is so low. We contribute to the development of other nations anytime we import toothpaste rather than manufacturing them in our own countries.”
President Akufo-Addo urged Africans to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade (AfCFT).
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini